The Summer of Color

The Summer of Color

Now here is an inspirational project and a colorful one at that.  I read about this on the Let’s Colour blog, one of my favorites!  It’s called the Summer of Color and is happening right now in Los Angeles, CA.   By the end of September the LA County lifeguard towers will all be transformed into a collective work of art, a span that ranges from Zuma Beach to San Pedro.   

Summer of Color is run by the organization Portraits of Hope which is the culmination of the efforts of nearly 6,000 children in schools, hospitals, and social service programs – and more than 2,500 adult volunteers – who have participated in the initiative’s program activities, which included the painting of the panels now installed on the walls and roof tops of the towers.

Portraits of Hope was founded by Ed Massey and Bernie Massey in 1995, and continued their utilization of art and poignant visual imagery for large-scale projects of social consequence.

Developed initially for seriously ill and physically disabled children, this program conceives and develops one-of-a-kind motivational art projects that merge the production of dynamic public art works with creative therapy for hospitalized children and civic education for students of all ages.

Today Portraits of Hope includes a core education program that focuses on social issues education, and projects that serve as creative therapy for children and adults coping with serious health and physical conditions.  Portraits of Hope has provided children and adults facing cancer, burn trauma, spinal injuries, HIV/AIDS, head and brain injuries, and other serious medical issues with innovative, fun, and therapeutic activities that let them enjoy and take pride in themselves during the course of their medical care and/or rehabilitative treatments.

Some of their public projects to date are: a Garden in Transit that painted the NYC taxicabs and turned them into driving flower gardens; to painting Blimps, race cars, barges, New Orleans Schools and Buildings, and creating vibrant panels which were shipped to rape crisis centers, rehabilitative centers, hospitals, senior care facilities and other human service facilities.

FYI…want a pair of boardshorts as a personal style statement and to reflect these fabulous designs?  Visit Shortomatic and buy one of their colorful patterns, or get creative and design your own!  Then you can be a part of the Summer of Color for years to come.

Once again, color, art add a little beauty and uplift the world.

Can you support this colorful project by transforming your own space in the color of Hope?




  1. Ron Britton 6 years ago


    What a great idea. I will have to make a trip to some of the California beaches this summer and check out the art. I just love when people come up with creative engaging ways to promote worthy causes like this.


  2. Louise Edington 6 years ago

    Such an uplifting idea! We’re off to LA on Saturday – have any of these been done yet? Color always brightens up my life.

  3. This is AWESOME! One day I hope to be back in the SO Cal area and see them in person! great read!! I love color, and I am always looking for color in unexpected ways to inspire my decor and others who read my blogs, thanks for this! Following on FB now :o)

  4. Julia M Lindsey 6 years ago

    What a great idea. I love finding ways people demonstrate there passion for a cause and improve the world around them.

  5. Donna McCord 6 years ago

    I love this! I am so happy to know there are programs like this out there and such wonderful people with so much compassion, creativity, generosity and caring hearts and joy. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  6. heidi & atticus 6 years ago

    What a fantastic organization–helping on all fronts! I’m going to check out the boardshorts. thanks for the post

  7. ChrisLWagner 6 years ago

    I can echo everyone’s comments. The paintings are beautiful and so is the cause. I love when organizations come up with an idea and bring it to life. It embodies everything that America is.

  8. Kerry Hargraves 6 years ago

    I love this project. The tower shown in the picture is a visual delight. The Lets Color projects always make me want to get out and paint something vibrant.

  9. Anna 6 years ago

    What a great way this Summer of Colors campaign. Lots of people will be at the beach this time of year and they will get tons of exposure for their cause. I was visiting a few SoCal beaches 2 weeks ago and they were packed. I’m not very creative but I’m going to start thinking of various plant colors for my patio as I get ready to pretty it up for the summer.

  10. Jennifer Duchene 6 years ago

    Irene you inspire me to get more color out there. Color and design. I love the idea of encouraging people to use color and personal expression to create beauty. I always tell my clients that the color and art you surround yourself with has a huge impact on how you live your life. The lifeguard tower above makes me feel full of smiles. The beach looks better with more color on the walls.

    Thanks for making me think color.

  11. Lee Lonitz 6 years ago

    Nice! I guess one could say there’ll be even more ‘eye candy’ at the beaches in L.A. now (but of a community sorts)! What a wonderful, innovative to express people’s artistic ideas and share them with others. I’d say we could use Summer of Color up here…if we actually had more beaches in the Bay Area!

  12. Cheryl McDonald 6 years ago

    A great idea. why not have color on the beach? I love it

  13. Dawn Thomas 6 years ago

    What a fun post, Irene! I love the idea of brightening-up the California coastal beaches with creativity as your post depicts! And the bonus is that beach-goers can actually see the lifeguard towers from a good distance away! Clever thinking!

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